First Direct resumes normal service after slowdown

Service for customers at online and telephone bank First Direct has returned to normal following a change to the website's logon procedures.

The bank had changed the way that users of the service logged onto the website last Thursday in a bid to tighten up security. However, most users changed their details over the weekend causing heavy demand on the bank's servers.

The bank warned on its website that it was experiencing high call levels due to changes to its internet banking log on procedures. Another spike in traffic on Tuesday was caused by people accessing the bank's website who had not changed their details over the weekend because of the slow service. The bank also had many people call its customer service to complain about not being able to log on.

A spokeswoman for the bank told IT PRO that service had now returned to normal following the surge in traffic.

"We are back to normal service levels," she said. "The servers did not crash as some people had thought."

Some users of the site had entered their new details only to forget them and call customer services, piling pressure on call centre staff.

Another spokesman for the bank said that the company was grateful to customers for bearing with them while the change over to the new system was taking place. He said that lessons will be learned from the swap and the company would certainly review procedures.

"Ultimately, moving to the new system will give us more flexibility to develop new services for customers. Users can now choose the own ID rather than be given a set of numbers to remember," he said.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.